Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Heartthrobs lure foreign females

YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS Male pop stars are being used abroad to market women’s products including cosmetics, perfume, lip gloss and even sanitary napkins

STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA , SINGAPORE

Taiwan’s male pop stars are so popular with female fans in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, that many foreign females travel to Taiwan to snap up items plugged by the celebrities, a Singaporean newspaper reported.

The strategy of using Taiwanese male heartthrobs to promote products has apparently racked up impressive revenues for companies that mainly produce items for women’s use, a report in the Chinese-language Lianhe Zaobao said on Wednesday.

A 40-year-old woman surnamed Liu who heads the Jiro Wang (汪東城) Singapore Fan Club was quoted by the newspaper as saying that she really wanted to try the lipsticks and facial cleansing cream advertised by Wang and his boy band Fahrenheit.

Wang is an actor who gained popularity thanks to several Taiwanese TV dramas in which he stars. Fahrenheit is a four-member group popular mostly with young women in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

“But I can only buy the product for my friends and other fans when I go to Taiwan, because the products that Fahrenheit advertises are sold exclusively in Taiwan,” Liu was reported as saying.

Liu said the strong desire to purchase products promoted by the young male idols had also helped young women’s partners overcome their embarrassment in buying such items for their wives or girlfriends.

“Even if products of the same brands are sold in Singapore, we love to buy them in Taiwan because we can get the items with stickers showing the [band members’] faces,” a female fan surnamed Lim told the newspaper.

The power of good-looking men to sell products to females cannot be underestimated, Lim said.

“A co-worker of mine who is not a fan of Fahrenheit is also interested in getting the products they publicize,” Lim said.

Other Taiwanese actors and pop singers have been invited to act as product spokesmen. One of them, Vic Chou (周渝民) — a member of the band F4, which became famous after it was featured in the TV drama Meteor Garden — promotes a new lipstick in Singapore, the report said.

Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), a pop singer and movie star popular in Asia, Wu Chun (吳尊), a Fahrenheit member, and A-hsin (阿信), a vocalist with the pop rock band Mayday, have also filmed advertisements appealing to women to buy perfume, sanitary napkins, lip gloss and skin-whitening products, the report said.

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